Colorado can’t keep up in 45-23 loss to No 17 UCLA
Colorado hung with UCLA in the first half before the Bruins
began their roll to a one-sided victory. The Buffaloes lost their
13th straight Pac-12 game and their 21st consecutive road game
against a ranked team.
Yet coach Mike MacIntyre is seeing undeniable progress in his
Brett Hundley threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two more
scores, Devin Fuller accounted for three TDs, and No. 17 UCLA shook
off back-to-back losses with a 45-23 victory over Colorado on
Sefo Liufau passed for 247 yards for the Buffaloes (3-5, 0-5),
who haven’t beaten a ranked team on the road since 2002. Christian
Powell rushed for 97 yards, Tony Jones rushed for a score, and Will
Oliver kicked three field goals for the Buffs, who took solace in
the fact they stuck with a Pac-12 power for most of the evening
”I think it shows we’re making progress,” MacIntyre said.
”That gives everybody a little bit more confidence. Those kids and
coaches in that locker room are all down, but there’s a resilience
to them. … I saw great fight and great effort. I did see a lot of
improvement, especially in our quarterback.”
Colorado began the afternoon with a promising victory, winning
the opening coin toss for the first time in eight games this
season. The Buffs trailed 21-13 at halftime despite possessing the
ball for more than 20 minutes and outgaining the Bruins, who
committed 75 yards of penalties in the first half.
UCLA scored on its first possession after halftime, and the
Buffs’ night got no better. But nearly everybody heading back to
Boulder chose to see the bright side of another dark day.
”I think we’re taking a step forward every week,” said Liufau,
who went 25 for 36. ”Obviously, we want to get a faster result and
win games, but it’s not happening right now. We’ve been in a lot of
games recently. It’s just a play here, a play there.”
Paul Richardson shook off an injury to catch eight passes for 81
yards and a touchdown. Richardson, a Los Angeles native whose
father played for UCLA, was dismissed from UCLA three years ago
after getting arrested on suspicion of theft before he ever played
for the Bruins.
Damien Thigpen ran for a touchdown for the Bruins (6-2, 3-2
Pac-12), who rebounded from road defeats at Stanford and Oregon
despite a sluggish start in their homecoming game.
”It’s a relief, but our confidence was never lost,” said
Hundley, who moved into third place on UCLA’s career total yardage
list. ”Obviously, I know and we know that we can still get the job
done. I feel like this team can really respond well, no matter what
we go through.”
UCLA tried and failed to join the Pac-12’s upper echelon over
the previous two weeks. The losses followed a similar pattern: The
Bruins hung with the West Coast’s best until the second half, but
an ineffective offense eventually left its defense on the field too
long, leading to one-sided defeats in the final minutes.
Back home, UCLA’s defense finally got some help from the offense
in a 412-yard performance. The Bruins have outscored their
opponents 199-66 in four victories at the Rose Bowl this season,
and they buried Colorado early in the second half with a 28-3
”I hate to admit this, but I thought there was a little
hangover,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. ”We didn’t have the
enthusiasm that we typically have. I told them at halftime that I
didn’t think we were enjoying the game enough.”
The Bruins won despite 11 penalties for 122 yards, steadily
pulling away from Colorado with solid defense and just enough
playmaking from Hundley, their sophomore quarterback. Hundley
finished with 345 total yards, passing Tom Ramsey and Cory Paus on
UCLA’s career yardage list in just his 22nd game with the
Hundley passed for 273 yards and scored on runs of 11 and 1
yards. Fuller caught a 6-yard TD pass after his long score, and the
sophomore added a rushing TD with 3:36 to play in his most complete
game since switching from quarterback to receiver last year.
After opening the game with two fruitless drives, UCLA’s offense
drew a chorus of boos out of the Rose Bowl stands after a
yardage-losing play to open its third drive.
On the next play, Hundley delivered a 76-yard TD strike down the
middle to Fuller, who caught the ball in heavy coverage and kept
his feet for a score – the longest pass in the careers of both
Hundley and Fuller.
Colorado went back ahead in the second quarter with a 76-yard
drive ending in Liufau’s TD pass to Richardson, but the Bruins
responded with another strong drive capped by Hundley’s 11-yard TD
run up the middle.
UCLA’s Cameron Judge then forced a fumble on Colorado’s ensuing
kickoff return, and Hundley hit Fuller for a 6-yard TD catch capped
by a pirouette at the goal line for an 11-point lead.